Calgary poet wins Kalamalka Press’s second annual chapbook award



Kalamalka Press is heart-thrilled to announce that the second annual John Lent Poetry-Prose Award goes to Calgary writer Nikki Sheppy.

Her work, Grrrlhood: a ludic suite, was selected from nearly forty manuscripts.

It was a wonderful and challenging process this time ’round,” says Kevin McPherson, one of the judges and editors of Kalamalka Press. “We had so many muscly entrees that the shortlist ended up being quite long.

Honorable mentions go to Natalie Simpson for her work, Surge, and Ben Ladouceur for Telegram from the Seventeenth Arrondissement.

Reading Sheppy’s poems ionized our molecules. They marble lived experiences within raw, fearless and playful linguistic calisthenics,” note the judges, three local writers and teachers, Laisha Rosnau, Jake Kennedy and Kevin McPherson.

Grrrlhood was written in a “spirit of derring-do” and by having “a really great time trying out different literary games and styles, allowing myself to go astray as much as possible,” says Sheppy.

This will be her first published collection of poetry, which she finished while attending the Banff Centre Writing Studio.

The honourarium for the winner has increased this year from $100 to $250. The chapbook will be designed by English professor and award-winning bookmaker, Jason Dewinetz, and letterpress printed by students in Okanagan College’s Writing and Publishing Diploma program.

Sheppy is familiar with Dewinetz’s work as a bookmaker through Greenboathouse Press and confesses, “I love the tactility and attentive design of letterpress books, which continue to seduce readers into an engagement with the materiality of literature.”

Last year’s winner, Ariel Gordon’s How to Make a Collage, sold out within two weeks.

For more information, please contact:

Kevin McPherson, Department of English
Okanagan College

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